Fever In Children: What You Need To Know
While it can be alarming to see your child deal with a fever, it is a sign that their body is fighting off an infection. This article explores the different causes of fever in children so you can be better prepared the next time your little one comes down with a fever.
Common Causes of Fever in Children
In most cases, fever in children is caused by a viral infection, such as the common cold or the flu. However, a fever can also be caused by bacterial infections, such as strep throat or ear infections. In some cases, fever may be caused by other conditions. Here are some conditions that may spike your child's temperature.
Autoimmune diseases can cause a variety of symptoms, including fever. In fact, fever is among the most common symptoms of autoimmune diseases in children. There are many reasons why autoimmune disorders can lead to a fever. While the body fights an infection, it often produces more white blood cells. These white blood cells release chemicals that can cause inflammation, and this inflammation can lead to fever. Additionally, some autoimmune diseases cause the body to produce antibodies that attack healthy tissue. This tissue damage can also lead to inflammation and fever. Some autoimmune diseases affect the nervous system, interfering with the body's ability to regulate its temperature. As a result, children with autoimmune diseases may experience intermittent or chronic fevers.
Immunizations work by stimulating the body's immune system to produce antibodies against a particular disease. The first time a child is exposed to a disease, it usually takes a few days for the immune system to respond. Your child may develop a fever as the body works to fight off the infection. While this may be worrisome for parents, it is a sign that the immunization is working as it should. In most cases, the fever will subside within a day or two and will not cause any long-term harm.
When Should You See a Pediatrician?
A fever is usually nothing to worry about and will typically go away on its own. However, there are some circumstances when you should take your child to see a pediatrician. For example, if your child is under three months old and has a temperature of 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit or higher, it's worth checking in with the doctor. The same goes for infants three to six months old who have a temperature of 102 degrees Fahrenheit or higher.
Generally, you should seek medical attention if your child develops a fever that doesn't go away after three days or if they seem unusually tired or irritable. You should also call the doctor if your child has a fever and is experiencing other symptoms, such as a rash, difficulty breathing, or persistent vomiting.
For more information, contact your child's pediatrician.